TORONTO – A big day by the bottom of Texas' batting order helped the Rangers overcome an injury to slugger Adrian Beltre in the start of their postseason run.
Robinson Chirinos hit a two-run homer against David Price, Rougned Odor added a solo shot and the Rangers beat the Blue Jays 5-3 Thursday in their AL Division Series opener as postseason baseball returned to Toronto for the first time in 22 years.
"It means a lot to the team to come to Toronto and win that first game against a great pitcher," Chirinos said.
Both starting third basemen left with injuries. Beltre left in the third inning because of a strained muscle in his lower back, and Toronto's Josh Donaldson left in the fifth after he was kneed in the head while sliding in an attempt to break up a double play.
Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he wasn't sure whether Beltre would be available for Game 2 Friday. An MRI confirmed Beltre had a strained back but no structural damage, General Manager Jon Daniels said.
Texas will have Joey Gallo and Ed Lucas travel from its Arizona Fall League team in case Beltre needs to be removed from the roster, a decision that also would rule Beltre out of the AL Championship Series.
As for Donaldson, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said the AL MVP candidate felt lightheaded while playing defense in the fifth inning.
"They check for concussions, and apparently he passed all the tests. So that's good news," Gibbons said.
In addition, Toronto saw slugger Jose Bautista leave in the ninth inning because of a sore right hamstring. Bautista, who homered in the sixth, is expected to play Friday.
Texas' Yovani Gallardo gave up two runs and four hits in five innings. He is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA in four career starts against Toronto.
"We got in some good hitter's counts and he wouldn't give in," Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin said. "He didn't make those mistakes that we capitalize on."
Keone Kela, Jake Diekman and Sam Dyson finished, with Dyson getting a save.
Pitching on 11 days' rest, Price (0-1) gave up five runs and five hits in seven innings. He dropped to 1-6 with a 4.79 ERA in 11 postseason games, and is 0-6 in six playoff starts.
"I expect to have better results," a subdued Price said.
Gibbons said Price was the victim of timely Rangers hits.
"It was just a couple of key hits at some key times that made the difference," Gibbons said.